Headline

Wageningen University & Research is looking for a PhD student in the area of ‘Environmental impact of dairy and aquaculture farming systems in Indonesia. Design of integrated dairy-aquaculture and improved specialized farming systems to reduce the environmental impact of animal-source protein production.

Location

Fieldwork in Bogor, Indonesia – Proposal writing and thesis writing in Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Scientific Fields:

Animal Production Systems, aquaculture, environmental impact analysis, and modelling.


Background

The demand for animal protein, both fish and dairy, is increasing in Indonesia. Both sectors are therefore looking to increase their production, while the availability of land and freshwater is limited. Therefore, in
order to increase production without further pressure on land and water, current production systems need to be more sustainable in terms of production, environmental impact and resource use efficiency. There is however currently a lack of adequate longitudinal data to determine how this objective can be achieved.

Smart farming in dairy and fish systems is suited to collect data in a longitudinal manner and to evaluate the current production systems and can help to improve animal production in Indonesia. Using this data, risk factors and management issues that block sustainable production will be identified. The collected information will be provided back to farmers through technologies such as apps to aid them to improve on-farm production efficiency.

PhD topic
The chairs Animal Production Systems and Aquaculture & Fisheries (AFI) of Wageningen University are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate, with a clear interest in Animal Production Systems, Aquaculture Production Systems, environmental impact analysis and modelling. Today, the demand for animal-sourced food is increasing rapidly in Indonesia. The increasing production is associated with increasing environmental impacts. Pollution of the environment with Nitrogen and Phosphorus, emissions of greenhouse gases and competition for land are examples of such impacts. As a PhD candidate in this project, you will investigate 1) the environmental impacts of dairy and aquaculture systems by using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), nutrient balance studies and land use 2) possible interventions to improve the environmental performance of the dairy and aquaculture systems by using various methods, such as stakeholder processes and farming system modelling, 3) to explore the effect of interventions outside the production chain of dairy and fish using consequential LCA and 4) to explore the options to combine dairy and aquaculture production in an integrated system to reduce environmental impacts. Your project should result in four publications.

Required background

  • An MSc degree in animal sciences, biology, aquatic ecology, environmental sciences, or related fields
  • A proven affinity for farming system research, environmental impact assessment, and modelling.
  • Excellent oral and writing communication skills in English and proven ability to collaborate with others.
  • Willingness to travel internationally for visits to research institutes, to attend international project meeting, and attend conferences.
  • Affinity with the topic is an advantage.

We offer you a challenging research project for a period of 4 years. You will work in a sandwich construction, spending in total 18 months at Wageningen University including project proposal and thesis writing at start and end of your PhD, and 30 months at Bogor University for experimental work.


Further information
The PhD will be obtained from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. The research will be divided between Indonesia (30 months) and Wageningen University, the Netherlands (18 months). Research costs including visa, travel costs for travelling within the project, and costs associated with data collection are covered by the project. For the period in Wageningen a grant is available to cover salary costs. Salary costs in Indonesia are not covered in the project, so we have a strong preference for candidates that can support themselves or are supported by their employer. However, in the circumstance where a candidate is unable to find this support but has outstanding credentials, the project team will consider supporting him or her during their research time in Indonesia.

In order to be admitted to the Wageningen University PhD programme, selected candidates will have to go through the admission procedure. A proven sufficient level of English proficiency as indicated by an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 for speaking) is required.

Next to this position, four other PhD positions (with different topics) are open in the project. Of these five positions, three will be supported by an LPDP scholarship. The LPDP scholarship is a personal grant that will cover all salary costs, both in Indonesia and in The Netherlands. Selected candidates are encouraged to enrol in the LPDP scholarship application. They will have to go through an additional procedure to compete for the LPDP grant.

For further information about the vacancy, please contact dr SJ (Simon) Oosting (simon.oosting@wur.nl) or dr. MCJ (Marc) Verdegem (marc.verdegem@wur.nl)

Application

To apply for this position, submit your CV and a letter of motivation before August 23, 2020, to dr. Marjolein Derks (marjolein.derks@wur.nl) mentioning PhD5 – SmartInAg project.